Gender Differences in Careers for Ph.D. Holders in STEM Fields

AIR_logo_fullA new study by the American Institutes for Research finds that 39 percent of individuals who hold a Ph.D. in STEM disciplines are employed in the academic world. More than 40 percent of all those with Ph.D.s in STEM fields are not involved in research and development either in the academic sphere or in the nonacademic world.

Women of all races and ethnic groups who have Ph.D.s in STEM fields are more likely to hold academic positions than similarly educated men. The gender difference is most pronounced for Whites.

At least 57 percent of Black and White male Ph.D. program graduates report working in research and development either in academia or outside the academic world. In contrast, for Ph.D. holders in STEM fields, 43 percent of White women and 37 percent of Black women perform research and development work.

The authors of the report conclude that “Performing work unassociated with research and development is common, particularly among women with STEM Ph.D.s. Ph.D. students need more skills training that’s instrumental to their careers. Retention in STEM — particularly for underrepresented groups — would improve if Ph.D. training and career guidance are more relevant to the nonacademic sectors most students enter.”

The report, The Nonacademic Careers of Ph.D. STEM Holders, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/StudySTEM Fields


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